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Lions OTAs: Jim Caldwell's comments from Thursday

A look at what Jim Caldwell had to say after the Detroit Lions' organized team activity on Thursday.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a recap of what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say following Thursday's organized team activity. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening statement: "This is a good a week of work for us. I think you could see that there's a lot that gets done just in terms of all the different things they have to deal with. They had a good fundamental period early on in practice, our special teams, but then also we got a lot situational football done as well. I think overall our team is making really good progress. They're showing the kind of fire and discipline that I think got us to the point where we became a pretty good team last year. They have the same energy. The older guys are doing a great job with the younger guys. They do a great job of relaying information, getting them accustomed to doing things the way we know how to do them. I think that's paying off."

On if the depth chart begins to take form this time of year: "It's more of a rep chart than a depth chart, to be honest with you, because of the fact that in our business you make your money with pads on. But yet, there are some things you can get a good look at, you can teach, you can learn, you can see how quickly they can absorb information, all those kinds of things. Every once in a while you'll see someone that just kind of moves ahead just in terms of the learning process. But for the most part, we're trying to teach."

On DE Ezekiel Ansah saying he hopes to be the greatest player at his position: "Well, what I do know is it's up to him. Ziggy's a very, very disciplined guy, he's ambitious. He certainly has the physical capability to be an unusual player in this league. I'm glad that's his goal because of the fact that we expect a lot from him. He's capable of delivering as well."

On where he has seen Ansah grow during his time here: "Since I've been here, because of the fact that his familiarity with the concepts that he's dealing with, last year was new for him. Obviously, you can see growth and development in that area. Often times you can see where players play a little more slowly when they don't quite understand everything to a tee. You see that pick up over time. He's one I certainly think you can see he's not thinking nearly as much. He's reacting, he's playing and I think in the long run we'll all benefit from that."

On WR Calvin Johnson and DT Haloti Ngata's absences: "No injuries. This is not mandatory. There are going to be guys who time to time you're going to come out and you're going to see a number of guys that aren't here. Maybe different situations that come up, some of them personal, but there's no injuries involved."

On CB Darius Slay's injury: "Got a few bruises that were self-inflicted, but nevertheless he's out for a couple days."

On WR Jeremy Ross' progress at the kickoff and punt return position: "Jeremy's a competitor. Not only do you see that he's doing well in terms of the return game portion, but also in the receiver position as well. It's all part of it. I think that, without question, when you bring guys in, if you have a number of guys that can do significant things in different phases of the game, it becomes very competitive. I think that's a good thing. Martin (Mayhew) does a great job I think of finding guys that can come in here, operate within our scheme, but then also compete as well. So, it's competitive in a number of spots."

On inviting college coaches out to watch practice: "You know, often times you find that different teams do it different ways. I, on one hand, believe in it because of the fact that these men, whatever level, obviously there are no pro coaches here, but colleges, high schools, I think it's incumbent upon us to give these guys an opportunity to come in and kind of see how we do, what we do. I was a young coach in 1981 I think it might have been. I used to go visit pro teams during the summer. Some pro teams wouldn't let you in. One team that I had heard would let me in was the Oakland Raiders. I called, Al Davis let me come in and he spent three days with me. He walked around with me personally. I was coaching the defensive backs at that time trying to find out about bump-and-run coverage. There were two teams that were playing great bump-and-run coverage in the pros - Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. You had Lester (Hayes) on the corner out there and Mike Haynes and all those guys that played well. I think Jack Stanton might have been the secondary coach, but he took time with me, walked me around at practice. He never left my side at practice. We'd walk over there with drill work, go through it and at night time he'd come back in at night and he and I would watch film from 10 o'clock at night until the wee hours of the morning. Go back to the hotel, get some sleep, come back and do it all over again. Three days in a row, and this was a guy who was running the whole operation. So, from that experience I really believe in allowing guys to come in and see what we do. I think that's the way it should be. It helped me out tremendously in my career."

On T Xavier Proctor moving to the offensive line from defensive line: "Often times you look at a guy who has size, strength, can bend and there were a number of times we had him on the offensive side because maybe we were short offensive linemen during the course of last year. Every single time it happened there would always be a couple offensive coaches saying, ‘You know what?  I think that guy makes a pretty good lineman for us offensively.' So, we're giving him an opportunity there. This is a great time to do it, seeing what kind of growth we can get involved there position-wise for him here in the next couple of weeks. I think he's a willing guy. He wants to find a way to play in this league and I think he will."

On LB DeAndre Levy saying he had to change his speed this offseason: "It has nothing to do with his speed. Recovery? Well, I mean, there are certain times where you don't necessarily have to push the envelope because you're not playing a game tomorrow. So, we want to be prudent in terms of how we deal with people that are coming back from injury."

On T Michael Williams' transition to the offensive line: "He's certainly got some time under his belt. (He is) more comfortable and I can see that he's getting better. He looks good. Good competition."

On if he spends time with the visiting coaches after practice: "Not as much as I would like. There are some that I've spent time with before. There are some guys that have been here a couple days from Canada. I allow them to sit in meetings, things of that nature, so it's been good. Often times, like last week, we had coaches that were in from John Carroll and often times you'll find yourself getting as much information from them as you give. So, they had some pretty unique things that they did. Tom Arth is the head coach at John Carroll, actually played for us. He was a quarterback at Indianapolis. Obviously, most of these guys know someone on our staff, but there's a great exchange of information along the way."